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SUNDAY SCHOOLS, by                    
First Line: Bring little children unto me
Last Line: To know their god, and hymn his praise.
Subject(s): Religious Education; Sunday Schools; Yeshivas; Parochial Schools

'BRING little children unto me,'
The God of our Salvation cries:
The good and wise obey the call,
And lay up treasures in the skies.

Oft have I seen, with pensive eye,
Children in groups our streets disgrace,
Exposed to infamy and vice,
With shameless, yet with ruddy face.

Along the fields, along the lanes,
Rambled the giddy, giggling throng,
Eager to strip the flowering thorn,
Or rob the poor bird of its young.

No fears had they of God above,
No reverence for the Sabbath Day;
But thought those hallowed hours were meant
For naught but frolic -- naught but play.

For play and mischief: out they flew,
The plague of many an honest clown,
Who, muttering, mourned his broken fence,
And clovered meadow trampled down.

Their toil-worn parents, sore distressed
To feed and clothe each luckless child,
No schooling could afford; their minds
Were like the weedy garden wild.

No bounds their insolence restrain,
No check the little urchins know;
None, save the beadle's lifted staff,
Or stern church-warden's angry brow.

Compassion bled at every pore
To hear their rude noise rend the sky:
Oh! have not these immortal souls?
For these did not a Saviour die?

Celestial Charity advanced,
Instant their idle clamour ceased;
Smiling, she seized each vagrant's hand,
And let them to the 'paths of peace'.

How changed the scene! in decent garb,
With sober step and serious air,
Obsequious to their tutor's voice,
To church the cherub-train repair.

The power of discipline has checked
The wild-fire of impetuous youth;
And heaven-taught Charity disclosed
The sacred Oracles of Truth.

What joy to view the infant tribes,
With eyes that glisten, cheeks that glow,
Fixed steady on their bible-tasks,
Or hammering out their chriss-cross row!

Ye more than parents of the poor,
How great, how god-like is your plan!
To snatch from fire the 'flaming brand,'
And hew the rough block into man.

And oh! 'twill soothe the hours of pain,
And brighten your declining days,
That ye have taught the poor, forlorn,
To know their God, and hymn his praise.

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